Alexa

Taiwan SEF's intermediary function essential: foundation chair

Taiwan SEF's intermediary function essential: foundation chair

The head of Taiwan's Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF), Taiwan's main liaison body with China, said Sunday that its function as an intermediary is essential and irreplaceable in facilitating the development of Taiwan-China relations.
Disagreeing with former President Lee Teng-hui's contention Saturday that the SEF had outlived its usefullness, SEF Chairman Chiang Pin-kung said that with exchanges between Taiwan and China steadily increasing over the past decade, issues requiring the government's attention had grown increasingly diverse.
"The SEF has been serving as a bridge across the Taiwan Strait to allow officials from the two sides to meet face-to-face to deal with many issues and problems," Chiang said. "It must continue to exist."
Lee said Saturday that the SEF should now be ushered into history since its mission as an intermediary has ended.
"Government-to-government dialogues should be in place now to replace the old formula of negotiations between Taiwan and China via private, intermediary bodies," Lee suggested.
In response to Lee's remarks, Chiang said a quasi-official organization has not only been used in dealing with China, but has also been applied to talks with Japan and the United States.
"These organizations have actually served as quasi-official bodies to help get Taiwan's opinions across," Chiang said.
Taking the high-level talks between Taiwan and China to be held in Taipei in early November as an example, Chiang said his meeting with his Chinese counterpart, Chen Yunlin, president of the Beijing-based Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS), would tackle a wide range of issues, including food safety problems and the opening of direct shipping links, direct cargo charter flights, and direct postal exchanges.
"Officials from the two sides are expected to be among the negotiators," Chiang said.


Updated : 2021-03-08 11:56 GMT+08:00